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    Home Articles

    Writing Articles that Sell

    One of the coolest ways of promoting your online business free of cost, is to write articles for various online newsletters, journals and ezines. Whenever the publishers publish your work, they also publish your "resource box" [if they are sincere, God loving folks, that is], which is a brief profile of you and your business, with your URL and your email address.

    When you write an interesting, easy-to-understand and comprehensive article, it shows that you have an authority over your field. People who assimilate your wisdom at constant intervals begin to look up to you. They begin to trust you. The written [typed, keyed in, these days] word has this strange, mesmeric propensity.

    So how to go about it? My keywords are, practice and hard-work. Practice polishes your verbal presentation, and hard-work enhances your knowledge. And believe me, it shows through your words. Always research. Always read what the others have to say on the topic you are writing.

    Some people are natural writers and some have to hue a path through the thick underbrush of inexperience. Actually, people belonging to the second category stand greater chance of succeeding, because you can only work hard if your desire is strong, and where your desire is strong, failure can rarely match the strength.

    Most amongst the "famous" marketing people who rely on articles for promotion try to churn out one article every week. Some of them are excellent, but, some of them are so drab that you feel like deleting the email even before "opening" it. It's not that they are bad writers. Some of them were marvelous initially, but as they tried to write in a fixed period, their work began to deteriorate. Their articles reek of desperation. Never think that you HAVE to write an article every week [although with practice you CAN do that]. Write when you really have something ponderous to say. Write when you are really bubbling with ideas [or an idea]. Write when you feel that ok, today I'm going to affect at least one person's way of doing business.

    Here are a few things, that I think, one should [and I'm sure you can have your own list] keep in mind while, and before, writing an article:

    1. Establish a personal rapport. It's not necessary that every person reading your article is aware of your divine existence and your writing style. If your article finds its way into a heavily subscribed publication, chances are, there might be thousands of readers reading your stuff for the first time. Allow them to know you. Address them directly. Make them feel that they are reading a very familiar person.

    2. "I" is always more intellectually palatable than "we." Even big organizations assign the task of publishing a newsletter to a single person so that there is more "I" than "we" in the literature. People can relate to "Amrit" but they can not relate to "Us" in most of the cases. Your readers are more interested in knowing your experience regarding your topic. They are more interested in the first person account. They'll believe readily if you say, "I sold 100 units in a single day by applying this technique!" rather than, "Johnny, my neighbor, has sold 100 units in a single day by applying this technique."

    3. Make your facts tangible. I have often felt that well-corroborated facts add weight to the article, for instance, quoting DATAQUEST is more reliable than quoting an oblique web site's report. Read newspapers, read magazines, read books, watch programs, attend seminars, visit sites, do all the things an average author does to come up with a good article. But keep this in mind that you often end up including one fact after collecting hundreds of them. Don't throw around numbers just to flaunt your information. Maintain a balance.

    5. You can easily show your vulnerable side. You don't have to be the big marketing daddy all the time. Respect your readers' intelligence, so don't just pontificate with a crosier of decrees in your hand.

    6. Try to be funny sometimes. The world spends millions of dollars on fun, on humor, so there has got to be something in it. Technology, mixed with humor is a great piece of work, and everybody appreciates unexpected laughter.

    7. Target. Write according to your readership. People interested in betting would hardly appreciated philosophy. The same is true for language. Some people hate jargons and some love them. For some, abbreviations are confounding, and for some, they save time and space. Carefully do the testing, and this is a skill that calls for lots of patience and experimentation. The more you write, the more you'll improve. Try to elicit some direct/indirect response from your readers. For instance, what do you think of this article? Take an initiative, and let me know at amrit_h@vsnl.com.

    8. Keep notes. A good thing about working on a computer is that you can keep an organized database of all the information you accumulate during all these years. All your random notes come handy when you have to refer to some facts while writing an article. I have a two years old Word document where I dump all the things I think I would like to go through while writing something.

    Ok, here I would like to end, although I know that this list can be endless. We all have our own efficient systems that help us perform well. All we have to do is, tap them and steer them towards the desired direction.

    Copyright © 2000 Amrit Hallan

    Amrit Hallan is a professional web designer. Check out his web site at http://www.bytesworth.com and you can get in touch with him at amrit@bytesworth.com. He also publishes an online newsletter on Internet Marketing by the name of BIMS Newsletter. You can subscribe at bims_newsletter-subscribe@listbot.com.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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